> This also is an anecdote from some time back.  As we were 
> signing a fairly significant software contract with a large 
> organization their manager told us "You guys know nothing 
> about marketing.  Your presentation was unprofessional, no 
> glossy brochures, no audio visuals and we would not have 
> bought except that you were the only ones who convinced us 
> you could do the job".  We just smiled and watched the ink 
> dry while we pondered "where did we go right?".
> The simple truth is that if you hype a product and sell it 
> into an area where it is inadequate your triumph is short 
> lived and the scorn and litigation enduring.  On the other 
> hand if you deliver a solution which works as well, or 
> preferably better, than proposed you have generated raving 
> fans who will buy again and endorse your product to all and 
> sundry.  Which is the better model?

I agree that if its an inadaquate product, the deep stuff you get into is
well deserved (but you clearly connected with someone who did understand the
technical value so it isnt entirely hopeless a situation). I do not see a
choice here - you need great technology and you need just the right
marketing to maximize your own return and push out the limits of what your
company can achieve. Convince both management and engineering. They both
need to be on the same page or else, and I think that is achievable. 

Engineers making all decisions may sound like its sensible but its asking
for a different type of trouble. Years ago I was involved with a large
corporation that dominated a particular market space (about 10 million seats
circa 1996). An engineer solved a problem by using a third party control
that he didn't run by corporate before incorporating into the product. That
engineer did not understand that all portions of the product had to meet
specific criteria in European and Asian markets - that control was totally
incompatible, and the source wasn't available at any price (this was fairly
well spelled out in the EULA after the problem surfaced). The discovery
wasn't made until after North American launch, and late in process when
European and Asian launches were developed. The re-engineering costs and
unexpected delays in those markets had a severe financial impact. Yes, this
is just one instance - but just one of many.

I think the availability of inexpensive overseas development is a wake up
call to engineers in North America and Western Europe that they have to move
to engage management (ie be a part of management). On the other hand,
management that jumps into outsourcing without a good understanding of
architectural goals and architectural management learn to regret it.

Best regards,

Lynn Fredricks
Paradigma Software

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